• Eating two or more pieces of fruit a day can help women fight off depression. Photo credit: UQEating two or more pieces of fruit a day can help women fight off depression. Photo credit: UQ

UQ researchers discover that daily fruit can help beat depression in women

The University of Queensland’s School of Population Health has just revealed the results of a study into fruit consumption and the development of depression in mid-age women.

Over 6000 Australian women were surveyed over the course of the six-year study, and the results showed a clear link between the amount of fruit consumed and the development of depressive symptoms.

Professor Gita Mishra at the School of Population Health said: "We found that women who ate at least two servings of fruit a day were less likely to suffer from depression than women who ate fewer servings, even after taking into account other factors such as smoking, alcohol, body mass index, physical activity, marital status and education… We also found that eating two or more servings of fruit a day protected women from developing depression in the future."

But the study did not reveal any link between vegetable intake and depression.  Professor Mishra explains: “More research is needed on the different effects of fruit and vegetables, but this may be because fruit has higher levels of anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, such as resveratrol, which is not found in vegetables.”

She said the findings highlighted the importance of a diet that is high in fruit, particularly to avoid the development of depression in middle age.  It is reported that women are a twice as likely as men to develop depression, and by 2030 it is expected to be on of the world’s top three most common medical conditions.

You can read Professor Mishra’s full paper in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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